Currie Cup

Dobson identifies Sharks' major strength

2018-10-22 11:25
John Dobson (Gallo)

Cape Town - After all of the semi-final drama this past weekend, the stage is now set, and the 2018 Currie Cup final will see Western Province host the Sharks at Newlands on Saturday. 

It is a fixture that most thought would decide this competition given the dominance of the sides throughout the round robin stages, though neither side had it all their own way in Saturday's semi-finals. 

The Sharks survived a fightback from the Golden Lions to emerge as 33-24 winners in Durban while WP came out on the right side of a 35-32 extra time thriller in Cape Town against the Blue Bulls. 

It means that the 2018 final features the same two sides that contested the 2017 final, though last year saw the Sharks play hosts. 

This time around, WP will enter as favourites given the 50-28 win they had against the Sharks last month. 

That result will obviously count for little on Saturday, but Dobson's men have simply been that much better than their opposition throughout the tournament. 

Speaking after his side's win on Saturday, Dobson cast an eye towards the challenge he felt the Sharks would pose and he highlighted one area in particular where they have thrived under coach Robert du Preez.

"Where they are really good is that when they get momentum, they start offloading a lot. The gain line battle with them is really important," Dobson explained.

"They're direct, and if they win that clash then they have the (Jean-Luc and Dan) Du Preez's and Marius Louw and they start that offloading."

The set piece, Dobson added, would also be an important area.

"We scrummed very well against them last time they were here, but they are a a good pack of forwards with Springboks in their front row," he said.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 16:00.

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